Antidepressants – Do They Work?

Do antidepressants really work?

There has been a longstanding debate surrounding the use of antidepressant medications to treat depression. Recent research has come out that indicates antidepressants effectiveness may be the same as using a placebo medication.

Placebo medication is essentially a sugar pill many studies use to compare true medications to. The placebo or sugar pill’s effectiveness seems to lie in people’s belief that by taking a pill they become “better”.

It is important to remember that antidepressant pills have helped millions of people; therefore this study doesn’t mean you should stop taking your medication. It does however indicate that they are not necessarily the best first option for treating depression.

Psychotherapy and counseling have been proven as effective for treating moderate, severe and even very severe depression. For some patients the combination of psychotherapy with an initial course of antidepressants can work even better, however the question has now become – how do the drugs work? The question mark is due to the idea that possibly medication with therapy works best because people believe they will.

Many people are hesitant to go on medication and this research indicates psychotherapy as a strong alternative to antidepressants.

If you or someone you know may be depressed it is recommended to obtain medical and psychotherapeutic advice to determine the best approach to help yourself or your loved one in overcoming their depression.